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Mark Zuckerberg calls on Trump to protect ‘dreamers’ from immigration reforms

  • In an open letter to President Trump, Zuckerberg and other business executives say DACA participants contribute hundreds of billions of dollars to the U.S. economy.
  • DACA, which preserves the rights of undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children, is under review by the Congress.
  • Trump is said to be conflicted about the program, and some hardline state attorneys general are threatening to sue if Trump doesn't rescind DACA by Tuesday.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other tech executives are calling on President Donald Trump to preserve the rights of "dreamers" under any immigration reform plan.

Initiated more than five years ago by the Obama administration, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program grants leniency to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. DACA is under review by the Congress, and Trump is said to be conflicted about the program. Several state attorneys general plan to challenge the policy in court if Trump does not rescind it by Tuesday, according to Politico.

In an open letter published Thursday, the executives urged the president to retain the policy, saying that the U.S. economy would lose hundreds of billions of dollars if workers and students currently protected by DACA were faced with deportation.

An estimated 800,000 people could be hit by the elimination of the program.

"Our economy would lose $460.3 billion from the national gross domestic product (GDP) and $24.6 billion in Social Security and Medicare tax contributions," read the letter, which was posted on FWD.us, an immigration reform group founded by Zuckerberg.

In addition to Zuckerberg, the letter to Trump and congressional leaders was signed by Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Google's Sundar Pichai, Microsoft's Satya Nadella and numerous other business leaders.

The letter noted that those protected by DACA grew up in the United States, are registered with the government and are subject to extensive background checks. More than 95 percent are said to be in school or work, and 5 percent have started their own business.

"I stand with the Dreamers — the young people brought to our country by their parents," Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post late Thursday.

"We need a government that protects Dreamers," he continued.

"These young people represent the future of our country and our economy."

Almost three-quarters of the top 25 Fortune 500 companies count DACA recipients among their employees.